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NALLAJERLA:  St. Claret School Nallajerla on 10 January 2024 organized a unique and engaging event called Children’s Market. The purpose of this event was to provide students with a hands-on learning experience in entrepreneurship, financial literacy and teamwork. Students showed a lot of interest in conducting the market. The event took place in the school premises and involved students from various grades participating as both sellers and buyers; a total of 104 stalls were put up by different groups.

Not only students who were part of this wonderful event, but parents too participated in it and congratulated the management for hoisting such creative events in the campus to help the children for an open and creative thinking. The event encouraged teamwork as students collaborated with their peers to organize and operate their stalls. This collaborative effort helped in building camaraderie among the students and enhanced their social and interpersonal skills. The Children's Market provided students with a real-world application of theoretical concepts learned in subjects like mathematics, economics, and business studies. It allowed them to see the practical implications of these subjects in a fun and interactive manner.

The involvement of parents was crucial for the success of the event. Parents supported their children in the preparation process, offering guidance on product ideas, pricing strategies, and even assisting with the creation of products. The event provided numerous learning opportunities beyond academics, such as problem-solving, decision-making, and effective communication. Students had to address challenges like stock management, customer service, and adapting to market dynamics.

St. Claret School's Children's Market was a resounding success, achieving its objectives of promoting entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and teamwork among students. The event not only showcased the creativity and talents of the students but also demonstrated the school's commitment to providing holistic education that goes beyond the classroom. The positive feedback from students, parents, and teachers indicates the potential for future scope of such practical learning experiences at St. Claret School.

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New Claretian Initiative in Vijayawada Diocese

Bhaskaraopet, Vijayawada: Continuing to explore the evangelizing opportunities, Claretians of Province of Bangalore have begun new pastoral collaboration with the Diocese of Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh.

29 November 2023 marked the new beginning, as Sacred Heart Church Bhaskaraopet was officially handed to the Claretians.

The new Parish Priest, Fr. Tom Vellappattu, CMF was installed by Rev. Fr. Praveen, the Dean of the diocese in the presence of Fr. Jaipaul Thumma, the Prefect of Youth and Vocation Ministry of the province, other Claretians, diocesan Priests, Religious Sisters and a very enthusiastic assembly of the parish faithful.

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First Holy Communion and Confirmation

Bengaluru: Saints Joseph & Claret Church Dasarahalli celebrated the day of Holy Sacraments on Sunday, 19 November 2023.

On the day, during the Holy Eucharist, 16 children received the First Holy Communion and seven of them also received the Sacrament of Confirmation.

His Excellency Mar Sebastian Adayantharath, bishop of Mandya, presided the celebration accompanied by Fr. Xavier Manavath, the Episcopal Vicar for Archdiocese of Bangalore, Fr. John Payikattu, the Vice Provincial of Claretian Province of Bangalore and other priests.

For the parishioners, especially for the children receiving the sacraments, it was a very joyful celebration with meaningful participation.

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Celebrating the Magic of Childhood

Medchal, Hyderabad: St. Claret High School Medchal transformed into a hub of joy and generosity during its Children's Day celebrations held on 14 November 2023. The event was also marked by a Food Fest.

A thoughtfully curated assembly by the teachers kicked off the festivities, inspiring and motivating the students with its dynamic presentation. The Chief Guest of the Day, Fr. Mathew, the Manager of the School, delivered a short yet thought-provoking speech. Addressing the eager young minds, he spoke about the essence of kindness, the excitement of learning, and the pursuit of dreams. His encouragement for students to excel, support one another, and value their unique skills was both inspiring and motivational, leaving a lasting impact on everyone present.

The highlights of the day included a variety of fast-food items, fun games, and a lottery dip. The school playground buzzed with activity as teachers doubled up as event organisers and chefs offering a variety of delicious dishes.

Besides the culinary delights, the festival featured a special charity lottery. The lottery was a unique feature, with proceeds going to support the underprivileged in the community. The excitement was palpable as the winners of the lottery were announced, receiving an array of exciting prizes.

The event concluded with a heartfelt vote of thanks by Kumari Sravya, a tenth-grade student, and the National Anthem, leaving a lasting impression of nostalgia and achievement.

The funds raised through the lottery and food festival will be used for initiatives aimed at providing some financial assistance and participating in the well-being of the less fortunate.

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LOVE YOUR EYES AT WORK - International World Sight Day 2023

Tumkur: On the occasion of World Sight Day, 12 October 2023, in its effort to raise awareness and care for the visually impaired, The Project Vision Rural Eye-Care campus conducted a “Blind Walk” at Kortagere taluk in Tumkur district. Around 150 participated and thousands of people witnessed the Blind Walk.

International World sight Day is an annual event held on the second Thursday of October to raise awareness about blindness and vision impairment. It emphasizes the importance of eye health and encourages individuals, communities, and governments to take action to ensure that everyone has access to essential eye care service. This year the World Sight Day theme was LOVE YOUR EYES AT WORK.

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Bengaluru: For the second successive year, the Institute of Consecrated Life – Sanyasa (ICLS), Bengaluru, organized Formative Accompaniment: Theory and Practicum (FATP-2023), a unique upskilling program for experienced formators as well as those taking baby-steps in the ministry of formation. Twenty formators from various institutes participated in the FATP-2023, which consisted of a two-month-long online sessions beginning in June 2023, followed by an 18-day intensive residential workshop from September 7 to 24.

The FATP residential segment consisted of two halves: the first half began with a world café exercise aimed at sharing of experiences in the ministry of formation, which was followed by a grounding in formative philosophy and dynamics, basic counselling skills, self-awareness, and rules of discernment. The second half sought an in-depth skilling in the theory and practice of six formative interventions modelled after the methodology of John Heron and supplemented with spiritual intervention skills.

(This has been an adapted methodology pioneered by Frs. Paul Smyth and Mathew Vattamattam for the Claretian formators’ course.) The learnings were further reinforced by analysis of case studies and movies displaying the said interventions. Finally, the participants enacted the various interventions, which were analysed threadbare, topping the skilling experience.

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Velanganni Matha – Parish Feast Celebration

Visakhapatnam: Velangani Matha Parish Kailasapuram celebrated the annual Parish Feast of its patron, the Velangani Matha on Friday 8 September 2023; the faithful of the parish as well as neighbours participated in the festivities with devotion and faith.

The annual festivities included devotion and spiritual preparations through novena to Our Lady of Velanganni and Eucharistic celebrations with special themes. On the Feast Day proper, there were three Eucharistic Celebrations. Morning 6.30 Mass in English was celebrated by Rev. Fr. Sabu Koottarappallil CMF, Provincial Superior of Bangalore Province. At 8.30 Mass in Telugu was celebrated by Fr. Tom Vellappattu, CMF. The solemn concelebrated Holy Eucharist was presided by most Rev. Mallavarapu Prakash the Archbishop of Visakhapatnam. The celebrations culminated with a fraternal meal and procession.

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Hyderabad: Committed to offer quality education through its institutions, Province of Bangalore organised a four day seminar for the teachers of different schools of the province from 19 to 22 August 2023 at Dhyana Ashram Centre Medchal, Hyderabad. 45 teachers from 10 schools took advantage of the opportunity.

The prefect of apostolate and mission, Fr. Siby Eravimangalam along with Education Ministry coordinator, Fr. Benny Cheruthottupuram organised the programme aiming to qualify the teachers as mentors than mere teachers. Topics like Teachers to be Mentors, Classroom Management, Quest for Excellence, Compassion of Education, etc. were dealt during the seminar.

Teachers were inspired to be moulders looking at every child as a possibility. Various group interactions and group works made the seminar more participative and lively. The participants also had an opportunity for cultural visit to the city. The coming together of the teachers from different schools of the province itself was a learning and encouraging factor of the seminar.

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Grateful in Service – Sacerdotal Silver Jubilee

Bengaluru: on 24 August 2023, Feast of Apostle Bartholomew, Province of Bangalore came together at Provincial Curia to thank God and to appreciate the members who celebrate their Sacerdotal Silver Jubilee during the year.

Frs. Irudayaswamy, Paulson Veliyannoor, Sebastian Theruvanmoola and Thomas Thennadiyil complete 25 years as priests. The jubilarians were grateful for the Claretian vocation and the gift of priesthood they shared in service of the people, especially in the field of education and pastoral ministry. Appreciating the jubilarians, Provincial Superior, Fr. Sabu Koottarappallil, recalled various ministries that these priests had undertaken in the province for the past 25 years and contributed to the growth of the province and enrichment of many a people. It was also an occasion to appreciate the sacrifices by families of the jubilarians by offering their sons to God and the Church. The celebration was solemnized with the festive Eucharist and a fraternal meal attended by Claretian fraternity.

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National Youth Day Celebration

Province of Bangalore: National Youth Sunday was celebrated with enthusiasm and fervour across various Claretian parishes on Sunday, 13 August 2023. Approximately 400 youths from different parishes gathered in their respective places to reflect upon the theme, "Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." The event aimed to emphasize the importance of obedience to parents while empowering the youth to integrate the virtue of obedience into their lives.

The National Youth Day celebration was celebrated in the most of the parishes with Holy Eucharist and other prayer services. Some parishes also organised meaningful discussions and group activities for the youth based on the theme of the day to make it more interactive. Some of them also made use of the opportunity to raise awareness about the social and national issues.

Thus, the National Youth Sunday organised at Claretian parishes/institutions served as a platform for the youth to gather, reflect, and learn about the importance of obeying parents within the context of their faith. Through interactive sessions, expert inputs, and empowering activities, participants were equipped with a deeper understanding of obedience and its role in fostering strong family bonds. The event successfully inspired the youth to embrace obedience as a virtue and integrate it into their lives as they continue to grow in their spiritual journey.


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Forming New Leaders – Seminar on Student Leadership

Medchal, Hyderabad: The first ever interschool leadership seminar for the students of schools of Province of Bangalore was held from 15 to 18 July 2023 at CHAI (Catholic Health Association of India) Training Centre Medchal, Hyderabad. 63 students, accompanied by 10 teachers from 10 schools attended the seminar.

The seminar focused on the need for quality leadership based on values and the need to be a leader in one’s own surrounding. Through various interactive activities the seminar focused on student leadership role. The participants also enjoyed an outing and leisure time at nearby Ramoji Film City. The seminar proved to be a unique experience for CLARETINES from different states, languages, religions and cultures to unite as a family. Fr. Benny Mathew, the coordinator for Education Ministry in the province animated and organized the seminar.

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World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly

Visakhapatnam: On Sunday, 23 July 2023, Velankanni Matha Parish, Kailasapuram, Visakhapatnam celebrated the day of “Grandparents and the Elderly”. The celebration was solemnized with the festive Eucharist, during which special prayers were offered for the grandparents, elderly and the sick.

Based on the theme of the year for the celebration, “His mercy is from age to age”, parish priest, Fr. Santhosh, highlighted the importance of the day that the Spirit of the Lord accompanies every fruitful encounter between different generations, especially between the young and the elderly. During the celebration the parish community was blessed with the moments of such fruitful encounters.

The participants not only expressed their joy and thanked the parish priest for arranging such joyous encounter but also shared their past memories of how they actively participated in the growth of the parish church. The parish youth happily made the necessary arrangements and helped the elders and the sick to come to the church and get back to their homes safely. The celebration was concluded with sharing of gifts with the elders.

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Claretian Discerning Leadership Workshop-Bangalore

Bengaluru: Taking forward the congregational initiative of training the members in Discerning Leadership, ASCLA West Conference hosted its second workshop of Claretian Discerning Leadership at Claret Nivas Carmelaram from 17 to 23 July 2023.

This is the continuation of the joint workshop held by ASCLA East and ASCLA West in February 2023 at Karukutty, Kerala, the Curia of St. Thomas Province.

32 members, the council members and a few local superiors, from the five major organisms of India participated in this workshop held at Carmelaram, Bengaluru. Three of the members from the conference who had earlier undergone the training turned facilitators for this workshop, Fr. Anthony Bhyju (Major Superior of Kolkata Delegation), Fr. Siby Njavallikunnel (Major Superior of St. Thomas Province) and Fr. Regi Pymattathil (from Province of Bangalore); Fr. Paulson Veliyannoor also assisted in animating one of the modules. In spite of his busy schedule, Fr. General too made himself available to address the participants virtually and inspire them during one of the sessions.

The workshop consisted of various modules of different aspects of leadership and discernment; such as contextual understanding, Jesus’ way, Claretian key, personality dynamics, synodality, conflict transformation, polarity management, etc. The participants were assisted through input sessions, personal and group reflections as well as activities, some assessment tests and exercises. On the whole the workshop helped in understanding and building up effective leadership in the context of the Congregation and the Church.

ASCLA West will continue further with such workshops at different places to animate all the members of the conference. Frs. Gonzalo Fernandez, CMF and Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF were the first guides who facilitated the workshop at Karukuty and provided the necessary impetus for training in Discerning Leadership at the conference level.

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Ministers of the Lord – Diaconate Ordination in Bangalore

Bengaluru: On the eve of the Inauguration of 175th year of Foundation of Claretian Missionaries, 15 July 2023, the Province of Bangalore had the joy of celebrating the Diaconate Ordination.

Five Students, three from Province of Bangalore, one from Delegation of Kolkata and one from the congregation of Sons of the Divine Providence (FDP), were conferred the Order of Diaconate by Most Rev. Peter Machado, Archbishop of Bangalore at Claretian Seminary, Malleswaram.  

A large number of Claretian Fraternity along with other neighbouring priests and religious, friend and relatives of the ordinandi participated in the solemn celebration. During the homily, Archbishop emphasized the ecclesiastical service and the synodality that the deacons are called to practice along with the missionary zeal of Father Claret.

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Spiritual Renewal in Province of Bangalore

Bengaluru: Province of Bangalore organized spiritual renewal for its members through annual retreat. The five day retreat was held from 11 to 15 July 2023 at Claret Nivas, Carmelaram. This also served as the timely preparation for the starting of 175th year of Foundation of our Congregation.

Fr. Jijo Jose Manjackal, MSFS guided the retreat attended by 47 members of the province. Fr. Jijo inspired the participants through call narratives to understand and strengthen the missionary vocation.


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You are not Alone - Widows’ Fellowship

Barikhajuri, Jharkhand: St. Peter’s Parish Barikhajuri organised a day of fellowship for the Widows of the parish on 9 July 2023. Sisters of the Destitute collaborating in the parish took the initiative in organising the programme in which 78 women participated.

This fellowship gathering was aimed at showing concern and support towards these women who otherwise face difficulties in their daily lives due to social stigma and economic concerns.

The fellowship seminar helped the women through motivation, encouragement and the parish bonding to face the challenges of life with courage and determination.

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Academic Excellence

Bengaluru: On 20 June 2023, during the 44th Convocation Day of St. Peter's Pontifical Institute Bengaluru, Student Seru Sagar, CMF was awarded the First Rank for his Final B.Th. Studies.

Seru Sagar stood first among his companions with an overall agregate of 87.852%.  

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Being Up-to-date – Seminar on Cyber Security & Digital Documentation

Bengaluru: On 3 June 2023, organised by the prefect of apostolate and missions, Principals and Administrators of the educational institutions of the province of Bangalore came together for a seminar on Cyber Security and Digital Documentation at Provincial Curia Malleswaram.

Fr. Joson, IMS guided the participants in understanding the need of being prepared to deal with the demands of institutions concerning digital technology. He focussed on various types of cyber threats and the needed security against such dangers. The seminar also dealt with the load of digital documentation required in the institutions and how it can be guarded against possible loss and threats.

Education Ministry Facilitator of the province, Fr. Benny Cheruthottupuram, engaged the participants in understanding the immediate needs of our institutions in providing quality and affordable education to our students. Along with 12 Principals and Administrators of the institutions, provincial government also participated in the seminar.

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Enhancing Consecrated Life

Bengaluru: Institute of Consecrated Life – Sanyasa (ICLS) has been offering one month summer course for the consecrated persons in the month of May every year. This particular programme has been a signature programme of ICLS and a real blessing for the consecrated persons as they can have overall knowledge of the theology of consecrated life in a short span of one month.   

As usual, in the month of May, ICLS had its typical one month of intensive course on the theology of Consecrated Life with different resource persons — most of them being Claretians. Altogether, there were sixty participants from twenty-one different religious institutes. Subjects like Biblical Spirituality of Consecrated Life, Re-visioning Consecrated Life from the History, Theology of Vocation, Theology of Community Life, Joyful Living of Evangelical Counsels, Growing in Affective Maturity, Psycho-spiritual Integration, Mission of the Consecrated and Theology of Charism were the topics dealt during the course.

There were also moments of recollection and silence, relaxation and leisure for the participants. The participants were greatly satisfied with the effort of Claretians in providing quality ongoing formation for the consecrated persons of India during the summer holidays.

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Dedicated to the Lord – Professions and Renewals

Bengaluru: On 31 May we the Claretians celebrate the Vocation Day. This year, in the province of Bangalore, we had the special joy of celebrating our gift of Vocation.

On the day, we had one Student making his First Profession, three Students making their Perpetual Commitment and eleven of our Students Renewing their Vows. Rev. Fr. Sabu Koottarappallil, Provincial Superior, presided the Holy Eucharist.

Many of our Claretian confreres, well-wishers and family members of the professing students participated in the solemn celebration.

On the previous day, 30 May 2023, the Novitiate House was vibrant as 25 Postulants from different Claretian organisms of India began their year of novitiate at Claret Bhavan Carmelaram. We thank God for inspiring these young men to dedicate their lives in His service.

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Grateful in Service – Renewal for Jubilarians

Bengaluru: At the ASCLA WEST conference level, Missionaries celebrating their jubilee came together for a refresher seminar at Provincial House Bengaluru from 25 to 27 May 2023. There were 16 members celebrating their 50 years of religious life, 25 years of religious life and 25 years of priesthood.

For the jubilarians, it was a joy-filled gathering to renew and refresh the Call and the Response. The deep sharing among the members of the personal call narratives, vocational journey, Claretian communion and ministerial fulfillment made the rejoining truly Claretian – men rooted in Christ and audacious in mission.

Fr. Benny Koottanal, MSFS animated the group on the theme Priesthood-Call to Holistic Maturity. He highlighted the need for awareness of love and sacrifice as the essential qualities of priest; he also enumerated the right use of the social media platform.

Fr. Joseph Lobo, SJ help the participants to reflect on Priestly Mission-Spirituality. He focused on understanding how Eucharist with its inherent features of victim-altar-offerer makes a priest.

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Confirming the Roots – Intensive Preparations for Professions

Bengaluru: Province of Bangalore is hosting two groups of Claretian Students for the intensive preparations to confirm their vocational journeys at the respective stages.

At ASCLA West level, 19 candidates for Perpetual Professions have come together at Novitiate House Carmelaram for 25 days, 01-25 May 2023, of intensive preparation under the guidance of Fr. Lawrence V.

Claretian Seminary Malleswaram is hosting 25 Postulants of the major organisms of India to prepare themselves to enter Novitiate on 30 May 2023. Our different missionaries are guiding them through the prefecture of formation of Province of Bangalore.

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Fidelity and Perseverance in Consecrated Life

Bengaluru: Institute of Consecrated Life – Sanyasa (ICLS), reaches out to different parts of India through seminars, engaging communities in theological reflection on fidelity and perseverance in consecrated life.

Institute of Consecrated Life – Sanyasa (ICLS), since its very beginnings, has organized annual seminars on consecrated life at the institute premises. This year, ICLS began a new venture of organizing additional regional seminars at various locations in India to help consecrated men and women in the peripheries to engage in deeper theological reflection on consecrated life. Accordingly, three regional seminars were conducted this year. The first such seminar was held at Karukutty in Kerala on February 18, 2023. Recently, two more such seminars were held at Ranchi and Kolkata on April 22 and 23 respectively. The seminars were organized in collaboration with the Claretians of the delegation of Kolkata and the local units of the Conference of Religious of India (CRI).

The theme of both the seminars was “Fidelity and Perseverance in Consecrated Life: A Gift and a Challenge,” based on the 2020 document from DICLSAL, The Gift of Fidelity, the Joy of Perseverance, applying its insights to the regional contexts of India.

The seminars consisted of three input sessions, each of which focused on each part of the document. In the first session, Fr. Arul Jesu Robin, director of ICLS, analyzed the struggles and challenges in fidelity and perseverance. In the second, Fr. Paulson Veliyannoor, asst. director of ICLS, focused on how to nurture fidelity and perseverance. The third session, on the canonical matters related to departures from consecrated life was dealt with by Fr. Irudayaraj, a canonist of the archdiocese of Kolkata. The sessions were followed by a panel discussion and Q&A session. The seminars were hosted at Claret Vidyaniketan minor seminary at Ranchi and Claret Nivas major seminary at Barrackpore. 

The Institute,Sanyasa, offers an academic program for deepening the understanding of the consecrated form of life in the Church especially in the light of the Scripture, Magisterium, tradition and various theological interpretations with the scope of reviving and empowering the consecrated persons.

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THE HARVEST OF LABOUR ICL – SANYASA Celebrates 21st Convocation

Bengaluru:  On 29 March 2023, the Institute of Consecrated Life – Sanyasa (ICLS), Bengaluru, held its 21st Convocation Ceremony, presided over by its president, Rev. Fr. Sabu Koottarappallil, the Provincial Superior of the Claretian province of Bangalore. The celebration was attended by the graduating students, professors, Claretians from neighbouring communities, a host of other religious and guests.

The Convocation marked an academic year packed with various long- and short- term courses at the service of consecrated men and women. Two students graduated with the licentiate course whereas 11 students received diplomas in theology of consecrated life. 29 young religious who had attended a three-month long intensive preparation for perpetual profession received their certification too.

Besides these, ICLS also hosted a variety of other short courses such as Formative Accompaniment: Theory and Practicum (FATP) and specialized and targeted retreats. A total of 111 students passed through the campus during this academic year; of which 91 were religious sisters, 09 religious brothers, 10 religious priests and 01 diocesan deacon. In all, 46 religious congregations were represented in the academic programs of ICL-Sanyasa this year. The two 100-hr online weekend courses on Theology of Consecrated Life and on Bible Study were highly sought after courses of ICLS. In all, 270 religious from 42 congregations benefitted from these courses.

During his message, Fr. Sabu George, the president, appreciated the Institute for its creative and relevant initiatives at the service of the consecrated life and exhorted the students to live God’s dream for humanity with passion and expertise.

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Starting Afresh with the Blessings of the Lord

Barwadih, Jharkhand, India: The community of Catholic Ashram Barwadih inaugurated and blessed its new residence on 05 March 2023. Rev. Fr. Sabu Koottarappallil, the Provincial Superior declared open and Most Rev. Theodore Mascarenhas, the Apostolic Administrator of the diocese of Daltonganj, blessed the new house in the presence of a large gathering of the faithful.  

Claretians of the province of Bangalore have been working in Barwadih mission for over 26 years. All these years the missionaries remained and worked through very humble dwelling, feeling one with the people. Though many a times need was felt for better facilities for the missionaries, priority was given for the infrastructure needed for the apostolic activities like parish church, school, hostel, dispensary, etc.

On 05 March 2023 their long cherished dream of a proper house came true. After the blessing of the new house, Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas presided the solemn Sunday Eucharist. In his felicitation, Bishop Theodore applauded and explained how the Claretians through their services in the diocese, especially at Barwadih and Barikhajuri missions, make difference in the lives of the people. Through this community the Claretians carry out a varieties of ministries in care of the local people. Today the community has a well-developed parish with its substations; there is a steadily growing English Medium School, besides the local language schools in the villages. The English medium school also has good hostel facilities. Over the years, the community has developed one of the best healthcare centres of the area, which provides affordable and quick services. The community engages in a host of other social activities aimed at welfare of the people.

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